SPORT

Daniel Ricciardo 'Screwed' By Own Team In Massive Monaco Mistake

His crew's mistake was the pits.

30/05/2016 6:55 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:53 PM AEST
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The normally cheery sportsman couldn't crack a smile on the podium.

Daniel Ricciardo is not a happy chappy. The 26-year-old Perth native dominated the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, leading from pole position after being clearly the fastest drive all week, before a basic pit crew error cost him the race.

Winless since his breakout season of 2014, the Aussie Red Bull driver looked set to be heading to the top of the podium again. But he lost precious seconds in a pit stop because his tyres weren't ready.

"They should have been ready. It hurts. I don't have anything else to say," the Aussie said.

Actually, he had plenty more to say.

"The guys were running around like ducks, I don't like being up here and being miserable because I got a podium in F1 and it should be a good day but when it happens two races in a row it is hard to take.

"Two weekends in a row now I've been screwed. It sucks. It hurts."

In referencing a second stuff-up, Ricciardo was talking about his team's three pit stop plan in the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks ago, a tactic which appeared to hand victory to 18-year-old Max Verstappen, who only pitted two times.

"I felt it should have been me," Ricciardo added. "If Barcelona wasn't clear, this one was crystal clear. I took Barcelona on the chin and this one I don't know if I can handle it as good as I did.

"This is such a prestigious race. I may win it in the future but this one I will never get back so it hurts a lot more than any other."

Getty Images
Ricciardo ponders what might have been.

Ricciardo is normally the cheeriest of sportsmen. Indeed it's his disposition as much as his skill which has endeared him to so many people. But that grin's vanished for the time being.

Red Bull Motorsport chief Helmut Marko said his team's error "presented" the race to Mercedes.

"It was a human mistake," he said. Which is exactly the sort of mistake you can't afford in a sport where you invest millions trying to minimise mechanical mistakes.

"I feel really sorry, all we can do is apologise to [Ricciardo]," the Red Bull boss added.

Lewis Hamilton won the race in his Mercedes, closing the gap on teammate Nico Rosberg on the F1 driver standings. Ricciardo is third.

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